The number of e-filed Income Tax Returns in Financial Year 2016-17 (till February 28, 2017) was 4.21 crore which represented an increase of 21 per cent over the number filed during the corresponding period of last financial year.
The number of e-returns processed in Financial Year 2016-17 (till February 28, 2017) was 4.30 crore. Tthis included the returns filed during Financial Year 2016-17 as well as backlog for earlier years.
The total amount of refund issued in the current fiscal, including refund arising out of rectification, appeal effect, etc, is Rs 1,48,459 crore till February 28, 2017.
The Government accords high priority to expeditious issue of refunds, particularly to small taxpayers. During Financial Year 2016-17, as on February 10, 2017, 98% of the refunds of less than Rs 50,000 have been issued and only 2% remain to be issued. Majority of these cases relate to recently filed tax returns or where the taxpayers’ response to the Department is awaited.
Further, to ensure expeditious disposal of backlog of refunds up to Rs 5,000 in non scrutiny cases pertaining to Assessment Year’s 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16, instructions have been issued to field units to issue refunds in these cases without adjustment against the outstanding demand.
The law provides that income-tax returns are to be processed within a period of one year from the end of the financial year in which the return is made. Efforts have been made to shorten the timeframe over the years through greater thrust on automation, smoothening the process for e-filing, and proactive monitoring. During the current fiscal, 90% of the refunds have been issued within 60 days and 67% within 30 days of filing of return.
This was stated by Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Friday.